After Samantha Ruth Prabhu, ‘The Liver Doc’ slams Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamath for podcast episode on liquor industry: ‘Absolutely garbage…’

July 10,2024

The Liver Doc accused Nikhil Kamath of normalising alcohol consumption among the youth (Image source: @nikhilkamathcio/Instagram)

In a post shared on X, Dr Cyriac Abby Philips, known online as ‘The Liver Doc,’ has sharply criticised a podcast episode featuring Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath discussing the liquor industry. 

In an episode of ‘WTF is,’ Kamath discussed the liquor industry in India with Abhishek Khaitan, Minakshi Singh, Shuchir Suri, and Suraj Shenai. This comes just days after Dr Philips publicly criticised actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu for her spreading “misinformation” through her health podcast.

Dr Philip wrote, “A bunch of businessmen, some quite famous, sit around a table discussing the ‘business of alcohol’.

“So far so good. Alcohol is good business, a business that leeches out others' life. It rakes in money for governments through taxation & monopoly; and fattens the bank accounts of those behind the industry (like this round table group) and makes barons out of those who sell well.” He added, “But when these businessmen, start glorifying their business of alcohol by equating it to ‘good healthcare intervention,’ it goes definitely into the realm of health misinformation, which is why, I have to keep discussing this absolutely garbage myth that ‘alcohol in moderation is good for you’ and the absolute nonsense disclaimer to support that myth, which they call ‘drink responsibly’.”

Furthermore, he stated, “I treat alcohol use disorder and related acute liver disease, chronic liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver failure (the most devastating of them all with highest death rate without a timely liver transplantation) on a daily basis.”

The doctor's lengthy critique targets not only the podcast's content but also challenges broader societal attitudes towards alcohol consumption, drawing on his medical expertise and experiences treating patients with alcohol-related illnesses.

Why drinking alcohol in moderation is unsafe for you

Dr Pranav Honnavara Srinivasan, consultant gastroenterologist at Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru, says that the notion that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to health has been a topic of significant debate. “Early studies suggested potential benefits, particularly for cardiovascular health. However, recent research offers a different perspective,” he reveals.

Dr Srinivasan continues, “A comprehensive study published in The Lancet found that any level of alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing health issues such as cancer, liver disease, and cardiovascular problems. This extensive study concluded that no level of alcohol consumption is entirely safe, challenging the earlier belief in the benefits of moderate drinking.”

Many studies promoting the idea that moderate drinking is beneficial often have methodological flaws or are funded by the alcohol industry, which can lead to biased results, warns Dr Srinivasan. “Moreover, the health impacts of alcohol can vary significantly among individuals, making it difficult to generalise any potential benefits. Thus, spreading this notion without acknowledging these nuances can lead to health misinformation, potentially encouraging harmful behaviours.”

Many studies promoting the idea that moderate drinking is beneficial often have methodological flaws, says Dr Pranav Honnavara Srinivasan, consultant gastroenterologist at Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru. (Source: Unsplash)

 Societal and economic consequences of alcohol use

Dr Philips highlights the societal and economic consequences of alcohol use, such as increased healthcare costs and societal harm. According to Dr Srinivasan, “Alcohol consumption leads to substantial healthcare costs due to the treatment of alcohol-related diseases, accidents, and injuries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol use is a leading risk factor for disease and disability globally.”